WWE SmackDown Report 4/17

– The Superstar Shakeup edition of WWE SmackDown opens with a video package looking at last week’s happenings between Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles.

– We’re live from the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI as Tom Phillips welcomes us. He’s joined by Byron Saxton and Corey Graves.

– We go right to the ring and out comes WWE Champion AJ Styles as Greg Hamilton makes the introduction.

Styles takes the mic as fans chant his name. He says Shinsuke Nakamura showed his true colors after the loss at WrestleMania 34 and he’s not just The Artist, he’s a con-artist. We get some dueling chants for AJ and Nakamura now. AJ says he should have been celebrating with fans last week but all he could think of was payback. AJ says he was presented with a real dream match last week, against Daniel Bryan. Fans chant “yes!” now. AJ says Nakamura showed his true colors then as well and ruined the match. AJ says he’s not letting it go and he’s not leaving the ring until he confronts Nakamura. Fans pop. AJ knows Shinsuke has suddenly forgot how to speak English but he’s not here to talk, he’s here to fight. AJ calls Nakamura a two-faced coward and tells him to come out and fight.

We hear Aiden English start singing as he and Rusev come to the stage instead. They get somewhat of a pop. English sings or raps about AJ facing Rusev and asks fans what day it is… Rusev Day. AJ says since it is Rusev Day and Nakamura doesn’t have a spine, let’s fight. Rusev marches to the ring and English goes to ringside.

AJ Styles vs. Rusev

The bell rings and Rusev goes right to work on AJ. Rusev gets some offense in but AJ quickly applies the Calf Crusher. English hits the ring for the quick disqualification.

Winner by DQ: AJ Styles

– AJ gets double teamed until Daniel Bryan runs out to make the save. Rusev goes out and English is next. Fans chant “yes!” as Bryan and AJ stand tall in the ring while AJ’s music hits.

– SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon is backstage watching when SmackDown General Manager Paige enters. Paige makes Bryan and AJ vs. Rusev Day for tonight’s main event. They talk more about tonight’s show, including The Miz’s return.

– Still to come, Carmella will celebrate her big title win. We go to commercial.

Shelton Benjamin vs. Jeff Hardy

Back from the break and out comes Shelton Benjamin. We see his post-RAW tweet on Chad Gable going to RAW in the Superstar Shakeup. Shelton takes the mic and comments on the tweet, and how he sees big things in Gable’s future on RAW. Benjamin says his Twitter account was hacked as he would never say anything like that. Benjamin says he no longer needs Gable. Correction: he never needed Gable, Gable needed him. Benjamin says enough about Gable. He needs the respect he deserves, the title shots he owes and to remind everyone that he’s one of the biggest threats on SmackDown. Benjamin says he had a chat with Paige and told her to send him some big competition. Benjamin drops the mic and waits for his opponent. The music hits and out comes Randy Orton to a pop.

Orton’s music stops before he gets to the ring. We hear fans chanting for the RKO. The music suddenly hits and out comes new WWE United States Champion Jeff Hardy, who won the title from new RAW Superstar Jinder Mahal last night. Jeff runs past Orton and hits the ring to pose. Orton doesn’t look happy. The announcers believe Hardy is now on the blue brand. The bell rings for this non-title match and Shelton beats Hardy down.

Shelton keep control for another minute or so and sends Hardy flying out to the floor. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and Shelton keeps control by focusing on the legs of Hardy. Jeff makes a comeback and nails a clothesline. Jeff with the basement dropkick for a 2 count. More back and forth now. Jeff goes to the top but Shelton cuts him off. Shelton ends up delivering a big knee to the jaw in the corner.

Shelton climbs to the top for a superplex but Jeff fights back. Jeff uses the turnbuckle to send Shelton to the mat. Jeff climbs up for Whisper In the Wind but Shelton kicks out at 2. Fans chant for Hardy as he gets to his feet first. Shelton blocks the Twist of Fate and drops Jeff with a big shot to the jaw for another close 2 count. Shelton waits for Jeff to get back up now. Jeff blocks the Paydirt and kicks Shelton back into the corner with an inverted mule kick. Shelton blocks the Hardyac Arrest kick in the corner but Jeff nails a Twist of Fate. Jeff climbs to the top and hits the Swanton Bomb for the win.

Winner: Jeff Hardy

– After the match, Jeff takes the title and stands tall as his music hits. We go to replays and come back to Jeff celebrating.

– The announcers send us to a video from The Miz on his phone. Fans pop when Miz asks if we want to see Daniel Bryan punch him in the face. Miz says that’s too bad because he’s not here, he’s in Los Angeles with Maryse and their daughter. We see them with him now. Miz announces that he will premiere on SmackDown next Tuesday. He says he will kick Bryan’s ass but Maryse interrupts him and tells him to watch the language around the kid. Miz declares that next week’s SmackDown will be awesome. They kiss and that’s it for the promo.

– Still to come, Carmella’s big celebration. Also, Jey Uso vs. Harper. Back to commercial.

Jey Uso vs. Harper

Back from the break and it’s announced that Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose are now on the SmackDown roster, thanks to former Absolution leader Paige. The Usos wait in the ring as SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bludgeon Brothers head to the ring.

The bell rings and Harper goes right to work on Jey. Jey fights back with a big right hand but Harper nails him again. Uso slides out of a hold and nails a kick on Harper. Rowan gets on the apron but Jimmy Uso pulls him off. Rowan ends up dropping Jimmy on the outside. Jey comes over and Rowan grabs him. Jimmy makes the save with a superkick to Rowan but he also falls down. Harper takes advantage and hits the discus clothesline on Jey for the quick win.

Winner: Harper

– After the match, Rowan nails a big boot to Jimmy on the floor. They drag Jey out of the ring but here comes Jimmy with one of the large mallets. They block his offense and send him into the steel ring steps. Rowan and Harper ram Jey back into the apron and he goes down. Rowan and Harper look to continue the destruction on the floor but here comes a crying Naomi running down the ramp. She begs them to stop and checks on Jimmy. She continues crying and pleading with The Bludgeon Brothers as they back off and some fans boo. Naomi tends to Jimmy as the music hits and The Bludgeon Brothers back up the ramp.

– Still to come, Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles team up in the main event. Back to commercial.

Sin Cara vs. Samoa Joe

Back from the break and Sin Cara is waiting in the ring. Out next comes Samoa Joe, making his way to the blue brand from the red brand.

The bell rings and they go at it. Cara mounts offense to start but Joe fights back with strikes. Joe drops Cara with jabs and a chop. Joe grabs Cara but he slides out. More back and forth until Joe floors Cara. Joe with more stiff strikes, including a big knee. Joe picks Cara up and drops him into the Coquina Clutch for the win.

Winner: Samoa Joe

– After the match, Joe takes the mic and says this seems more like the land of handouts instead of the land of opportunities. Joe says everyone has had it easy. SmackDown has been coddled and catered to, and everyone has been convinced that they are better than they are. Joe says that all changes now because he’s here and he gets all the opportunities. Joe says he will have the chance to put down Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton and WWE Champion AJ Styles. Joe says if any of us are non-believers, look to what he’s going to do in Saudi Arabia and Backlash. Joe promises to put Roman Reigns down for good if there’s anything left of him after his Steel Cage match with WWE Universal Champion in Saudi Arabia. Joe says if Reigns somehow wins against Lesnar, he will take his newly won WWE Intercontinental Title that he plans on winning in Saudi Arabia, and rip the Universal Title off Reigns at Backlash. Joe’s music hits and he stands tall.

– The announcers lead us to a promo on pay-per-views being dual branded from here on out.

– Back from a break and we get a promo for WWE NXT group SAnitY coming to SmackDown.

– Renee Young catches up with Daniel Bryan backstage and asks about making the save for AJ Styles earlier. Bryan says he’s proud to team with AJ tonight because he knows one day they will fight against each other. Big Cass appears and gets in Bryan’s face. Renee leaves and fans cheer for Cass. Cass mocks Bryan’s height and asks if he’s really what the fuss is all about. Cass calls Bryan a little man and walks off.

– We go to the ring and out comes new SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella for her “‘Mellabration” in-ring segment. There are two tables or stands in the ring with leopard print covers over them and a leopard print rug in the middle of the ring. Carmella places the title on one of the tables.

Carmella mocks the fans and says she’s no longer just the Princess of Staten Island anymore. We can now call her the Princess of SmackDown. Carmella says she waited 287 long days for the perfect opportunity and she seized the moment, taking her rightful spot at the top of the women’s division. Carmella goes on about beating Charlotte Flair, all on her own. Carmella says all she had to do to beat Flair was wait for her to be blinded by her own ego. She goes on and raises the title in the air, saying what she did last week was historic. She says this will go down as the biggest moment in the women’s revolution and the biggest moment in women’s history. She wants to keep the celebration going with a tribute to herself. We get a video package on the big screen.

Carmella says she will miss Frankie, her briefcase, but now she’s got Cleopatra, the title. She goes on about how Mella Is Money but the music interrupts and out comes Flair to the stage with a mic. Flair says it looks like Carmella’s title reign will be like her memory, short. Flair says the video package was missing key moments because she only had the Money In the Bank briefcase due to the chinless freak James Ellsworth and she only won the title because of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay. Flair goes on and congratulates Carmella but gives her some words of wisdom – it’s much harder to stay on top than it is to get there, and Carmella has something of hers. Flair starts entering the ring but the music hits and out come The Iiconics. Peyton and Billie talk trash to Flair while walking to the ring. Flair watches from the apron. They say Flair is looking at the future and the future is iconic. Flair looks ready to fight as she drops her robe. She leaves the apron and goes after Billie and Peyton on the ramp. She fights them both but Billie rams her into the barrier and they double team her, beating her down. The music hits and out comes Becky Lynch to make the save. Peyton meets her but Becky drops her. Becky takes out Billie next. A referee tries to break the brawl up as Flair gets back up. We go to commercial.

Charlotte Flair vs. Billie Kay

Back from the break and the match is underway. They go to the floor and brawl back into the ring with Flair in control. Peyton and Becky are cheering on their friends from ringside. Carmella has her feet kicked up at the announce table but she’s not on commentary.

Billie fights Flair but Flair sends her into the ring post. Flair comes back in from the apron but Billie drops her for a quick pin attempt. Billie mounts Flair with more offense and a 2 count.

More back and forth now. Flair fights back but Billie takes control again. Billie takes her time with Flair and keeps her down. Billie keeps Flair grounded with a submission now. Billie distracts the referee after breaking the hold, allowing Peyton to nail Flair with a cheap shot while she’s down in the corner. Becky runs over towards Peyton as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and Flair drops Billie with a knee. Billie comes right back with a suplex for a quick pin attempt. Flair fights back with chops now. Carmella yawns at the match. Flair unloads and drops Billie with more chops. Flair drops a knee and waits for Billie to get to her feet. Flair looks to put Billie away but it’s blocked. Billie drops Flair again for a close 2 count. They trade counters again and Billie rolls her up for a 2 count. Flair comes right back with a big boot. Flair goes for the Figure Four and bridges into the Figure Eight for the win.

Winner: Charlotte Flair

– After the match, Flair stands tall but Carmella runs in and drops her with the title. Becky makes the save but The Iiconics take her out. Carmella goes back to beating on Flair while she’s down. The music interrupts and out comes the newest member of the blue brand, Asuka. Asuka runs to the ring and Carmella retreats. Asuka takes out Peyton and then Billie. Peyton gets dropped again. Becky and Flair join in now and take turns on Billie. Asuka, Flair and Becky stand tall as Asuka’s music hits. Carmella watches from the stage.

– The announcers lead us to a promo for Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson coming to SmackDown from RAW.

– Still to come, AJ and Bryan vs. Rusev Day. Back to commercial.

– Back from the break and the announcers hype the Greatest Royal Rumble event.

– We get a backstage promo from The Bar talking about how dominant they have been. Cesaro and Sheamus announce that they are coming to the SmackDown roster.

– We see The New Day backstage and Big E is riding on the back of a much smaller staffer. They spot R-Truth and apparently he’s on the blue brand roster now. Tye Dillinger appears and it looks like he and Truth are facing off but they do their own handshake and are all smiles. Truth says he’s glad he’s on RAW now with The New Day and Dillinger. They have to inform him that this is SmackDown. Truth says “my bad” and walks off, saying he will see them tomorrow. Truth walks off as Tye and The New Day wonder if he’s going to be alright.

– The announcers go over the Superstar Shakeup changes made tonight and the post-WrestleMania 34 arrivals from last week. It’s confirmed that Nikki Cross will not be with Eric Young, Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe. The announcers send us to a video from NXT’s Zelina Vega and Andrade “Cien” Almas. They are also coming to the blue brand.

AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan vs. Rusev and Aiden English

We go to the ring for tonight’s main event and out first comes WWE Champion AJ Styles to a pop. Back to commercial.

Back from the break and Rusev is already out with Aiden English. Daniel Bryan is out next to a pop. Bryan starts off with English and they lock up as fans chant for Bryan. Bryan gets the upperhand and unloads, taking English out of the air. Bryan keeps English grounded and hits a surfboard. AJ tags in and comes off the top onto English while he’s still in the hold. English ends up turning it around on AJ and beating him around. We get dueling chants for both teams.

AJ turns it around and hits a Gutbuster on Aiden. Rusev runs in but Bryan puts him in the Yes Lock at the same time as AJ is putting the Calf Crusher on English, or trying to. Rusev and English break free and retreat to the floor as we go back to commercial.

Back from the break and English is in control of AJ, keeping him down for a 2 count. English keeps AJ grounded as fans rally and Bryan reaches for a tag. AJ fights English off but English hits a big backdrop for a 2 count. Rusev tags in for a bit of double teaming. AJ fights out of a hold by Rusev but Rusev stops him from tagging. Rusev rams AJ back into the corner and works him over. Rusev stands tall and wastes some time while AJ is down.

English tags back in for more double teaming to AJ. English with a close 2 count. English stomps on AJ and plays to the crowd. English puts the boot to AJ now. AJ nails a jawbreaker and looks to turn it around but he can’t. Aiden goes down and AJ looks for a tag but Aiden comes back. Aiden misses a boot and AJ rolls him up for a 2 count. AJ nails a pele kick. Bryan finally gets the hot tag and unloads on Rusev as he also tags in.

Bryan keeps control of Rusev as fans do the “yes!” chant. Bryan with a corner dropkick. Rusev blocks the second. Bryan ends up going for the Yes Lock but Aiden comes in. He gets taken out again. Bryan goes on and hits the “yes!” kicks to Rusev. Bryan waits for Rusev to get up and then nails the big knee. Shinsuke Nakamura appears out of nowhere and hits AJ with a low blow from behind on the apron. The referee doesn’t see it. This leads to Big Cass hitting the ring and flooring Bryan with a big boot for the disqualification.

Winners by DQ: Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles

– After the bell, Cass nails Bryan again as Nakamura comes back over the barrier all smiles. Cass stands over Bryan and raises his fist. We go to replays as the new theme song for Cass hits. Renee interviews Nakamura on the stage and asks him what’s going on but he says he doesn’t speak English. Nakamura stares down to the ring before heading to the back. SmackDown goes off the air with Big Cass standing over Daniel Bryan in the middle of the ring.

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